Shadow of Recession Lifts at Festival d’Aix




Festival d'Aix

Grand Théâtre de Provence à Aix getting ready for the 2010 Festival d'Aix-en-Provence Photo Boris Horvat

Festival director Bernard Foccroulle is confident Aix will return to its traditional musical glory this summer after a 2009 season marked by austerity and crisis.

“For 2010, we have redeveloped the festival”, he said unveiling the programme for the 62nd season which runs from July 1-21, 2010 at the Grand Théâtre de Provence .

On the bill are five operas including a world premiere, the return to the Grand-Saint-Jean (not used by the festival since 2006) and the presence in residence, of the London Symphony Orchestra.

The global economic recession that struck in 2009 severely restricted that summer’s festivities, which saw just four opera performances.

Bernard Foccroulle, the Belgian composer and organist who now directs the Festival, says for 2010, the budget will remain prudently under control. “This is still no time for huge leaps forward (…) I think we have come through the worst of the crisis but we must remain cautious while being creative. “

The 2010 Festival Aix-en-Provence will open with the world premiere of  “El regreso” (4-17 July), a chamber opera by 40-year-old Argentinian composer Oscar Strasnoy, under conductor Roland Hairabedian and his Marseille ensemble Musicatreize, in a production staged by Thierry Thieu Niang .  The production will mark the return of the festival to the Grand Saint-Jean , a few miles north of Aix. The opera libretto was adapted by Alberto Manguel from his own novel “El Regreso”. (The Return)

Also on the programme are Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” , July 1 – 20, with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra (Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, FBO) conducted by Russian Dmitry Chernyakov , and with Danish baritone Bo Skovhus in the title role.

On the programme at the Théâtre de l’Archevêché July 2-13, with the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra will be Gluck’s  “Alceste”, conducted by Ivor Bolton and staged by German director Christof Loy , —  French soprano Veronique Gens in the title role.

From July 3 – 10, the Grand Théâtre de Provence hosts Igor Stravinsky’s “The Nightingale” and other fables staged by Quebec’s Robert Lepage , with the Japanese conductor Kazushi Ono, and the Opera Orchestra of Lyon .

Grand Théâtre de Provence from July 16 – 21, will stage Rameau’s “Pygmalion” and extracts from “Hippolyte et Aricie” with William Christie and the Arts Florissants in a staging and choreography by Trisha Brown , and Belgian soprano Sophie Karthäuser in the title role.

Visit the official festival website

More on Culture, Festivals in France and the Arts here

Story: Ken Pottinger
editorial@french-news-online.com



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